As the national and state governments struggle with what, if any, gun laws should be enacted in the aftermath of the latest mass shooting, much can be learned from what has come before. The history of gun laws in America reveals that, contrary to what
most may think, guns were much more strictly regulated in the nation’s first 300 years than in the last 30. Even more surprising, gun laws and gun rights mostly existed in harmony, not in conflict, in our past. What has happened to polarize and radicalize the American gun debate?
Prof. Spitzer is Distinguished Service Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department at SUNY Cortland. He is the author of 15 books, including "Guns across America" and "The Politics of Gun Control."